Perceptions of couple functioning among female survivors of child sexual abuse

David DiLillo, Patricia J. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


A sample of 51 college women retrospectively reporting a history of childhood sexual abuse and 91 women failing to report such a history was examined in order to investigate the relationship between victimization history and survivors' self-reports of functioning in adult intimate relationships. Specifically, relationship satisfaction, communication, and trust were examined in heterosexual relationships of at least six months' duration. As hypothesized, even when demographic differences between groups were controlled, survivors reported significantly less relationship satisfaction, poorer communication, and lower levels of trust in their partners than did women with no history of sexual abuse. The implications of these results are discussed with regard to clinical applications and future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-76
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Child Sexual Abuse
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Child sexual abuse
  • Marital satisfaction
  • Relationship functioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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